"No."

Izaya Orihara was a mysterious being to all that were unfortunate enough to know him. There was nothing particularly frightening about his skinny adolescent demeanor, but it was the chilling aura that admitted from him that drove everyone away. Every other student at Raira Academy shivered at the mention of his name, and froze over at the sound of his voice. Although everyone feared this man of mystery, a brave few were strangely drawn to him.

Of these few included this girl, who had just offered Izaya a box of chocolate for Valentine's Day, and was now utterly confused. His answer had been clear as day, but it was not his words that were the problem. Although his words rejected her, the bright smile on his face was oddly accepting.

"O-Oh...Um..." She stammered. Something was wrong. This smile, it was not quite as accepting as she had originally thought. It was laced with cruel intent. The longer she stared at it, the most twisted and disgusting it became. It was cold. Icy. She could feel her stomach freeze and her shaky breath catch in her throat. Suddenly she became very conscious of her being, and, in a desperate attempt to disappear, she tore her eyes away from his memorizing grin and pulled her limbs in close. She felt as though she we being attacked. Asphyxiated. Why could she still feel it? The smile burrowing beneath her skin? She squirmed. A bead of sweat danced down her cheek to her panting lips. For a moment, she had forgotten she possessed the means to escape, but, finally, without another word, she set down the chocolates and faltered away.

That was the way he liked it.

Izaya Orihara was no psychic. He was also not a demon, (as some garrulous students may have suggested). No, Izaya was not magic, but he could read that girl's mind. He knew what she wanted before he saw any more than her silhouette making its way towards him. He knew all of her secrets, weaknesses, just by the sound of her flimsy voice offering him her worthless affections. And, because of this talent of his, he also knew how to control her. Own her. Of course, he had no desire to ever interact with that girl again, but this was his game. It was his idea of fun. He loved it, cracking into a person's deepest and darkest secrets and exploiting them with one wink or a smile. How could life possibly be more marvelous!, he often wondered to himself. He was in a world surrounded by games! Every human was only another puzzle to solve.

I love them!

Love. This was a subject that had become skewed in Izaya's dark mind. The words 'love' and 'possess' had become interchangeable. Of this, of course, he was unaware, at least consciously. Or perhaps he did know, but it just didn't matter to him. Izaya Orihara had never truly loved a thing in his life, and he either didn't know or didn't care.

He may not have been familiar with the feeling of 'love', but he did know hate. Yes, deep hatred that makes your blood curdle and head fume. Hatred that fills you with a rage so intense that you become its accompaniment; you no longer control it, but it controls you. Izaya didn't actually mind that, though. He found that often times his fury knew better what to do in times of desperation than he himself would have. In fact, he almost enjoyed the hatred. It was essential to play his favorite game;

Provoking Shizuo.

Shizuo was part of the reason Izaya emotionally scalded that girl so badly today, actually. You see, he was already in a bit of a foul mood when she had approached him, and a good mind game was exactly what he needed to regain a little bit of his sense of pride. Yesterday, during one of their famous brawls, Shizuo had launched Izaya through a window, and Izaya had to pay for its repairs. (He tried to explain that it was Shizuo's doing, but the teacher didn't really want to hear from the devious boy sprawled in shards of glass and gripping a flick blade.) He stroked the wounds on his left arm and chuckled while he imagined how emotionally violated the girl must feel at this very moment. This little victory may not totally compensate for the humiliation he endured in front of an entire class yesterday, but it helped a bit. He was still the king - nay, the god - of Raira Academy. And one day, he would graduate from being the god of Raira, to the god of Ikebukuro. And after that, Tokyo, and then Japan, and then...!

It was only then when Izaya realized he was laughing aloud hysterically. Yes! In the scheme of things, it would be he who conquered all, and by that time, his days of getting tossed through windows would be a distant memory.

As he readied himself to leave for his final class of the day, he grabbed the chocolates the frantic girl had abandoned and popped one of the plump candies into his mouth.

Bittersweet. Just the way he felt right now.

It was nearing dark. Izaya had spent the better part of his day after school following Shizuo with such stealth that Shizuo was none-the-wiser to his stalker's presence. But Izaya was not stalking Shizuo because he was infatuated with him, like so many of those spineless teenage girls do. Izaya was only after one thing; revenge. Even though he never needed an excuse to give Shizuo hell, he was feeling particularly irritable lately and the thought of Shizuo getting away with yesterday's stunt without so much of a scratch made his blood boil. As a matter of fact, just a scratch would not do. He wanted to do to Shizuo what he had done to the girl with the chocolates earlier that day. However, that posed a problem.

What Izaya hated the most about Shizuo was that he could never break through his mental barriers, and he sure as hell couldn't overpower him physically. He couldn't be conquered. Izaya gripped his flick blade tighter as irritation coursed through his veins.

Why! Why can't I triumph over a dimwit like him!

"Tch," Izaya scoffed quietly to himself in the bushes.

Damnit! The behemoth has no weaknesses!

So the only logical thing Izaya could think of left to do was to follow Shizuo in hopes that maybe, just maybe, Shizuo would miraculously expose a vulnerability when he thought that nobody was around. Unfortunately, Izaya was unable to tell if anything of the sort would happen because Shinra had been following Shizuo around all day with that asinine expression on his face. "Damnit, Shinra," Izaya sighed heavily "Don't you have a headless faerie to attend to?"

Shizuo and Shinra had just been sitting in West Gate Park for nearly an hour, and Izaya was getting fidgety. He was nearly tempted to throw a rock at them just to get them to do something when a young lady, one that Izaya recognized from Raira, approached the two young men holding a box of chocolates. Izaya moved in closer to investigate.
"Excuse me, Heiwajima-San?" Murmured the girl. She was very pretty, with a petite figure, swimmingly blue eyes, and flowing brown hair. Although she was shy, a sort of confidence emitted from her as well.

"Y-Yes?" Shizuo stuttered. He seemed very uncomfortable all of a sudden. Shinra just sat there with a curious grin plastered on his goofy face.

"These are for you. I made them myself." The girl calmly held out the box of chocolates to him. Shizuo flushed a deep shade of pink before quietly thanking the girl and accepting the box of chocolates. She smiled a delicate smile before prancing off.

Of course he would accept them. Thought Izaya bitterly. He is weak. And even though he relished the abashed look on Shizuo's face, staring like an idiot at the box of sweet in his hands while Shinra slapped him playfully on the shoulder and congratulated him, Izaya was a little angry.

Why was he angry?

As Izaya tried to fathom why such a stupid occurrence could anger him, his train of thought was derailed by an obnoxious outburst from Shinra. "Haha! Look at you! You're so embarrassed! Imagine what you would be like if she gave those to you in public!"

Ding!

It was as though a light bulb had been flicked on inside Izaya's brain. A twisted grin spread on his face from ear to ear, and, forgetting that he was supposed to be secretive, Izaya dashed away into the night so eagerly that the soles of his shoes barely touched the moonlit concrete beneath him.

"What was that?" Asked a startled Shinra.

"Don't worry," Answered Shizuo, "It was probably just a rat."

Third period. That was the free period at Raira Academy, and that was when Izaya Orihara was to have his revenge.

You see, Izaya had a massive advantage over Shizuo Heiwajima because Izaya was virtually incapable of feeling embarrassment. He knew that he was so above everyone around him that it didn't matter if they laughed. Seeing the stupid grins on their faces only made his victory more apparent to him. The only thing that shamed him was defeat, and the only one who could defeat him was Shizuo.

But not today.

To get to the recreational buildings, every student must cross through the courtyard, so that is where Izaya waited with a box of store bought chocolates wrapped in the pinkest and laciest paper he could find in one night's notice. He was hiding in the braches of a tree in the center of the courtyard, watching for signs of blonde among the black and brunette.

At last, he saw Shizuo exiting from the West Building into the crowded courtyard. Once again he was with Shinra, but this time Kadota was with them too. That's good. The more people are with him that he knows, the more humiliated he will be.
Like a jaguar stalking its prey, Izaya waited for the exact right second to strike. At last, the moment came, and Izaya leapt down from the tree right in front of Shizuo and the others.

"Oh, Shizu-Chan!" Cried Izaya as loudly and dramatically as he possibly could. Just as he had hoped, people turned and stared in awe as the quiet and condescending Izaya Orihara made a fool of himself in front of everyone. Immediately the murmurs began.

"Is that Orihara-San?"

"What's he doing with Shizuo?"

"Is he holding chocolates?

"I thought they hated each other!"

Izaya flourished on the attention. "Please, accept these chocolates - a token of my undying affection!" Izaya cried out even louder than his original exclamation. His gestures were becoming so flamboyant they could practically be considered a dance. Now everyone was watching. " Although these sweets are not nearly sweet enough to represent my love for you, Shizu-Chan, they were the best that I could do." At this he dropped on one knee and offered the box of chocolate with both hands outreached and his head bowed, like a noble knight presenting to his queen.

Complete and utter silence fell over the courtyard like a quilt. Kadota and Shinra looked as if someone had just been shot before their very eyes. Bright red pigment flooded Shizuo's face like the imaginary floodgates holding his blush back had burst open all at once. He was so bewildered that he was frozen in place. Holding the same ridiculous position, Izaya glanced up through his hair so that only Shizuo could see and gave him the nastiest smirk he could muster.

Victory was within his grasp.

All at once the shock on Shizuo's face morphed into rage. The kind of rage that makes you see red and causes your victim's life to flash before their eyes. But Izaya stood still and waited for his opponent to make his move. He was prepared.

"Y...You..." He was shaking now. "...YOU BASTARD." At the sound of Shizuo's mighty roar, everyone stepped backward a few paces. They knew well what was to come next.

Shizuo took a few poorly aimed swings at Izaya before he picked up a giant boulder from small garden and hurled it at him with such force that the bricks that took the impact crumbled like silt. At this point all the students had retreated to the safety of the indoors, but remained by the windows to see who would be the victor of this match.

Izaya was beside himself with satisfaction. Shizuo was so mortified that this made up for yesterday times a hundred! He laughed like a little child as he effortless dodged Shizuo's attacks. "How cruel, Shizu-Chan." He chimed. "Not only do you reject my affections, you try to kill me as well? It seems to me that you're trying awfully hard to hide som- "

But Izaya had grown to cocky. In the middle of his speech Shizuo had struck him square in the jaw and he soared straight into the side of a building.

"No! I do NOT accept your chocolates, you moron!" Shizuo spat. "Now leave me the hell alone!" He stormed into the building to his immediate left and slammed the door so hard that it flew off its hinges, and the crash it made as it hit the ground echoed across the courtyard.

Ow.

Izaya felt a distinct stab in his chest. Sure, he was covered with bruises and searing pain gushed through his veins like the blood being pumped by his racing heart, but this was different. This was a pain he was unfamiliar with, and no matter how he turn over on the ground, it didn't dull. Perhaps he had felt this feeling once or twice before, but it couldn't be -

Rejection?

But that was impossible. It wasn't as though he had wanted Shizuo to accept the chocolates in the first place. In fact, they weren't even a real gift! Everything had proceeded as planned. Shizuo was humiliated beyond all description, and Izaya may have been hurt, but he had won.

So why did he feel so empty?

Izaya got up slowly, and began limping his way towards the infirmary. Even though he was injured in many places, he found his hand gripping his chest, because, for whatever reason, he found that it hurt the worst at the moment.

Izaya limped home that night with a crutch and a neck brace, but he wasn't worried. He was an incredibly quick healer. That wasn't what was bothering him. Everyone at school was gossiping about Izaya's 'confession', but most knew that it was just a ploy to bother Shizuo. Besides, that didn't bother Izaya either. It was the melancholy feeling that hung in his chest that had dampened his mood. What was the matter with him? He grimaced as another stab of pain circulated through his jaw. Perhaps this victory was not worth the price he had paid.

He was busy stewing in his own bitterness when he approached the door to his apartment. He was so distracted that he almost didn't notice the snowy white daisy taped to the door.

Izaya scowled. The last thing he needed right now was the interference of another stupid girl. But then, he saw something caught under the tape that made his heart skip a beat.

He pretended like he didn't notice, though. He continued to pretend that he didn't notice that his heart was pumping furiously as he walked through the door. He pretended not to notice the growing sensation of warmth in his cheeks as he untaped the delicate flower. He proceeded to put the flower in a small vase of water while still pretending not to notice that his mood had gotten remarkably better all of the sudden. He pretended not to notice that, try as he might, he couldn't stop grinning as he flicked on the TV. He didn't hear anything the program was saying, though. He was too busy pretending that he hadn't noticed the short blond hair stuck to the tape holding the flower to his door.